As a native of Rotterdam, Tim's career path was predetermined early on. "In Rotterdam, the port is the most important economic factor. It plays an important role for almost everyone in this city - including me," says Tim Simons. Tim developed a great passion for shipping and the transport and logistics sector at an early age and also aligned his later career path accordingly. He studied Urban Port and Transport Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam and was soon working in the container industry after graduating.
First stations in the container business and in the energy industry
Tim first worked as a trainee at Caru Containers and stayed with the company for another five years. There, he gained his first experience in the container business: among other things, he investigated ways to use digital technologies in the container sector for sustainable purposes. He also worked closely with Aad Storm, the founder of Eveon, mainly in the American market.
Then, Tim took to the energy industry and worked for the Dutch energy company Eneco. There, too, his main focus was on sustainability - Tim gained important experience in the field of renewable energy, as Eneco is one of the leading pioneers in the development of solar and wind energy in the Netherlands. However, after a while at Eneco, Aad approached him for the position of sustainable development manager. And Tim really liked the sustainable ambitions of Eveon.
"The sustainability potential in the container business is huge"
"The container business has enormous potential. Not only in terms of digitalisation, but especially in terms of sustainability," says Tim, "It really excites me." Together with Eveon, he wants to transform a sector that until now has still functioned as it did in the 1980s. The difference to then: today there are not 5 million containers in circulation worldwide, but tens of millions containers – a third of which are transported empty. This means that every third container journey is not used to transport material or goods at all, but merely to transport the container back to its place of origin. "Every year, millions of trucks in Europe transport empty containers back to port cities, for example Hamburg, after unloading them inland so that they can be transported back to China – you can see that the sustainability potential in the container industry is huge," says Tim. He wants to combat this huge inefficiency together with Eveon by selling more containers in the places where they are unloaded. This can save CO2 emissions for transporting empty containers.
The second aspect of his role as Sustainable Development Manager is to look not only at containers and logistics, but to think more generally about the way companies do business today. How transparent is a business about its processes? How are products sourced? How are employees treated? Together with Eveon, Tim wants to go a different way than traditional companies. Eveon is to become a pioneer and role model – not only for the container or logistics industry, but also beyond. He sees a great role model in the jeans manufacturer Nudie Jeans, for example. The brand is a true trailblazer in the textile industry and not only produces high-quality jeans, but also attaches great importance to sustainability and how materials are produced and processed.
Sustainability is now also to be used at Eveon not just as a buzzword, but as an integral part of the company's DNA. The great potential to actively shape a company was another reason for him to start at Eveon: "Especially with young companies like Eveon, I see them as a clean slate where everything can be built from scratch in a truly sustainable way. This task appeals to me very much," says Tim. And he wants to implement this task with calmness and at the same time firm determination. In his actions, the active marathon runner always follows the motto of the athlete Eliud Kipchoge: "Only a disciplined mind can also be free".
Eveon already offsets the CO2 emissions generated during transport when a container is delivered: Eveon supports LandLife's environmental projects. But it won't stop there - more sustainability projects will soon follow. And Tim remains loyal to his port in Rotterdam - only now it is becoming a little greener.